Torch skips past protesters

Roadblock forces relay reroute

By QMI Agency

VANCOUVER -- About 100 protesters briefly delayed the Olympic torch relay through Vancouver Friday morning and forced the flame to bypass awaiting veterans.

The veterans were awaiting the torch while standing at the cenotaph at Victory Square park but their moment was ruined when a gaggle of anti-Olympic protesters blocked off Hastings Street.

Police on foot, bike and riot horses tried to move the activists along as the actual torchbearer stood at a standstill a block behind.

After a few tense minutes, organizers chose to reroute the relay around the park -- thus avoiding both protesters and veterans alike.

Earlier, the Governator came and conquered Stanley Park as a horde of onlookers created a crowd control nightmare for security.

Arnold Schwarzenegger had his biggest grin on display as he proudly made his way along the relay route next to the Harry Jerome statue in Vancouver's iconic park.

Despite fencing and a heavy police presence, Schwarzenegger and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell were swarmed by hundreds of people on the seawall before Arnie accepted the Olympic flame.

Because of the crush, police pushed the movie star politician further along the seawall to give security a chance to regroup for the governor's run.

Choruses of O Canada mixed with chants of "Arnold!" as the crowd frantically tried to capture the scene with cameras, camcorders and smartphones.

The relay continues Friday until the torch reaches its final destination at BC Place Stadium for the open ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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